Series: Snow Like Ashes #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Published: October 14th, 2014
Page Count: 416 pages
A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 4/5 stars
Snow Like Ashes gave me the biggest scare of my reading life EVER (okay, not really, I love to exaggerate). You see, I was very excited to read it because everywhere I looked, people were raving about how awesome and wonderful and exciting this book was. To be honest, I'm not a difficult reader to please and even less when a book has all of my favorite elements: Princes, romance, magic and awesome world-building. So it was probably a sure thing that I would end up liking it too, if not loving it.
And I DID. I ended up liking it A LOT, but I had trouble getting into the story during the first half. My problem was that I wasn't feeling the characters, and to me, that's what matters the most. I was frustrated at myself because I wasn't paying enough attention to the world-building that it deserved because I was just too damn focused on trying to click with Meira, Mather and Sir.
Fortunately, the second half came was what finally sealed the deal for me. That EPIC battle scene that happens before Meira is taken to THAT place, is when I truly got into the story and I felt EVERYTHING. I knew then that I cared for the characters. That they stopped being two-dimensional and practically popped out of the pages. They all impressed me, but Meira even more than the rest.
So now I love Meira. I love her strength, loyalty and selflessness towards her people. I liked that, despite not knowing who she really was or where she truly belonged, she continued fighting for what she believed in. I know she had a few moments of weakness in which she only had thoughts for herself, but considering her situation - where other people were not letting her have a say about her life - I can say that I understand and she had a right to think about herself.
The world-building is, hands down, the best aspect about this book (and I know many will back me up on this!). I loved how complex it is, how the world is divided into eight kingdoms, four that go through every season and four that represent each season (and named after them too). How creative! The magic and the conduits was also something fascinating to read about.
And the romance? Oh, I'm Team Theron all the way! Mather is a great guy and I do like him, but Theron's personality won me over because he always listened to Meira and he wasn't afraid to speak up or ACT.
All in all, despite my bumpy journey into Snow Like Ashes, I'm glad that I ended up enjoying the story after all. Now I'm looking forward to read Ice Like Fire and explore more of this fantastical world!